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Topic: Examination Copies?

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Subject: Examination Copies?
Date Posted: 6/23/2011 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2010
Posts: 4
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I'm looking into the possibility of posting textbooks for the research lab that I work for. We have hundreds of copies of very similar textbooks, all in very good almost new condition, but that we don't use. My boss likes the idea of being able to swap them cheaply for books that we would use. I think it's a good way for our little lab to save on budget and still get "new" materials. Before we begin though, I do have a couple questions that weren't solved by searching/reading the help docs, if anyone can be of assistance.

First, I know ARC's are unacceptable because "the ARC cannot be depended upon to contain the same story/text as the published book". Does this same rule apply to Examination Copies of textbooks? As far as I know exam copies are the same book, only given free to teachers for them to review. Or does the fact that it's a free book from the publisher marked "not for sale" pose some legal problem?

Also, I understand that since we'd be swapping mostly textbooks we will be required to agree upon the condition of the book via PM before shipping. But as an organization are there any special rules or membership registration guidlines that we'll have to follow? Or is there no difference between an individual's and organization's membership?

 

Date Posted: 6/23/2011 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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Hi Amanda :) As the type of person who uses textbooks often, even for recreational reading, I think it'd be wonderful to see your books released into the PBS system. You raise some valid questions about whether or not they would be acceptable. There are Tour Guides such as myself who will be glad to help, as well as general members who are quite knowledgeable regarding the ins and outs of the Swap. You can also contact PBS directly using the Feedback Page, which (aside from that link) can be reached by way of the Contact Us link at the bottom of your screen, under the Company heading. Once on the Contact Page, click Send Us Feedback to reach the page from which your message will be sent.

As to whether examination copies are comparable to ARCs, I can see reasonable arguments for both "yes" and "no" responses. Do such copies refer to the sort sent out for proofreading and fact checking before full publishing begins, or are they essentially promotional copies intended to entice the teacher into choosing the textbook for their class?  

As far as swapping as an organization, I believe it's only acceptable if you operate the account yourself, and do not sell the books you acquire here. I might be wrong and I'm sure there will be others with more certain knowledge in this department. The PBS Terms of Use should cover that information.

Personally, I've got my fingers crossed, and hoping you'll get the green light!

Date Posted: 6/23/2011 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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If I recall correctly, promotional copies (which "Examination Copies" sound like) are allowed. Check this thread for more information; someone wrote to TPTB.

However, an organization can not have an account on PBS. From the Terms of Use:

No Institutional Membership
Membership is permitted for individuals only. No organization, institution or other association may become a member or participate of the service.

I think you are allowed to manage an account in your own name. However, I'd check if there are any copies of the books you are interested in receiving before posting your books. Textbooks tend to be expensive to mail, and there's no point of accumulating credits if there isn't any way for you to use them.

Good luck.

Date Posted: 6/23/2011 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I think that, as Amanda's profile is certainly a personal one, it should be passable. If she chooses to use the books she receives for work purposes, that should be her business. Consider as an example a grade school teacher using the Swap to get books for storytime. So long as the purpose isn't to resell the books acquired, I would think it alight,  I do think a dialog with PBS might be warranted, though, as it would be the best way to find out for sure. It's always best to find out ahead of time, rather than running with it only to find out later that it's not allowed.

Date Posted: 6/23/2011 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2010
Posts: 4
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Thanks for the link Sophia! I think, based on that, the examination copies would be fine to post, we get them free from the publishers when they start publishing a new edition because they want professors to pick it and then make all their students buy it every semester. Textbook companies are constantly fighting over professor love.  cheeky But then some of them don't have ISBN's so I would definitely have to employ the feedback button to be sure.

Thank you both also, for the referring me to the terms of use! Unfortunately that might be a deal-breaker. Since we're talking about the Psychology Department's property and not mine or my boss's, it might pose an ethical issue for us to trade them away. Even if we promise not to use the credits for getting books for ourselves and give all the books we get back to the department, there has to be some separation between personal and department business. That's certainly the case for me we couldn't use my account, that would be terribly unprofessional!  But it might not be an issue for my boss since she's solely in charge of managing the lab and has the authority.

I agree about having to check that what we want is available. I've been doing a little window shopping to help sell the idea to my boss. We could really use some more interesting topic-specific material. For example, we'd like to promote the new Positive Psych class with some good reads [What Happy People Know, The Beethoven Factor]. And the Taking Sides series [Educational Psych, Bioethics, Classroom Management] is super helpful for projects in the Reasearch Methods class, but we only have a few in the series to use.

What we have are many many variations on introductory psychology textbooks [for PSY 101 classes] like the Ciccarelli text. They all tend to cover the same 12-14 broad topics for intro psych. Having so many is no good for our students since they all have their own textbooks. They take up a wicked amount of space and we're not allowed to sell them. I really think this would solve both problems perfectly! I'll pitch it on Monday and hope it can be done. I think you're right, James, that if I get the go and we work out how we're going to arrange things with the department, we'd still need to talk to the PBS staff and make sure. Thanks again!

 

If the worst is true and it's not possible frown ... I'll have to start researching cheap ways of donating books. Any brainstorms from the literary minded? Hmmmmm, maybe trading them at a local used bookstore for in store credit wouldn't be considered "selling". wink

 

 

Date Posted: 6/23/2011 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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There are definitely a lot of factors to consider, and working with PBS directly to figure them out would be best. I still have some hope that these sort of books make it into the system, purely out of selfishness lol I love studying psychology, and I'm sure you've got some worthwhile titles. I'll just have to keep an eye out and see if you're still around in the near future. Good luck either way!

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Regarding Examination Editions, the only sticking points I'm aware of are: 1. If you have a written agreement with the publisher not to resell the books, then that is binding.  Or 2) If you reside in a state that regulates these books, in which case your college would be aware and educate staff (IIRC this came up in another thread not too long ago).

Another consideration Amanda, is the FIFO system will only allow you to post 1 book at a time under an ISBN.  When that book is swapped you can post another, etc.  If you have large numbers of the same ISBN, it could be a long process.

If PBS doesn't meet your needs, there are other options (not as awesome tho).  Amazon, half.com, ValoreBooks.com, and several more.  Except for Ami, I've not used these and have no details on how they operate.

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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If you decide that you can indeed post these books - you mentioned getting recipient approval if you're posting textbooks. I just wanted to point out that you only need to get that approval if there is writing or highlighting in the books (on text pages). Otherwise, the same conditions apply as for any other book, and you don't have to get approval.

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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With the textbooks your professors actually decide to use, couldn't you have some kind of system for providing them to students who can't afford to buy them new?

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2010
Posts: 4
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Thanks Elizabeth, I didn't catch that nuance!

 

Bren, if the textbooks would be of use to one of the students we'd certainly give it to them! But the problem is the ones I'm talking about aren't current, they're from the past 8 years and in that time the version/author/publisher each professor has decided to go with changes. For example the Ciccarelli text I linked above is the first edition from 2005 and we have 4 copies, but the professor who uses Ciccarelli switched to the 2nd edition. The fundamentals of the material haven't changed, but it can't help the student do their homework. So, we could give the older text to a student to take home and keep and read, but they'd still have to come in to use our researve copy of the latest edition to do homework. Possibly once a semester a student will take us up on that, but we simply have hundreds more books than students wanting to do this. We could probably solve all the headache if the professors would just stop switching books unless it were necessary!cheeky